Skull Canyon pre-orders have begun. Newegg has Intel's most powerful NUC available for its suggested price of $649.99. The Skull Canyon NUC introduces a unique elongated form factor that breaks the squarish mold of the original. This barebones unit needs DDR4 SO-DIMM memory and M.2 SSD storage to be a complete PC. Once assembled, it seems capable of pulling duty as a HTPC or light-weight gaming rig. By adding an external graphics enclosure like the Razer Core, builders can turn this PC into a high-end gaming rig, too.
This NUC is powered by an i7-6770HQ processor, the company's first CPU with Iris Pro 580 graphics. Iris Pro 580 is the big brother to the Iris Pro 550 currently finding its way into ultrabooks. Going by Intel's Processor Graphics Gen 9 Whitepaper, Iris Pro 550 is a GT3e part (48 EUs with 64MB eDRAM) and Iris Pro 580 is a GT4e part (72 EUs paired with 128MB of eDRAM). According to notebookcheck.net, the Iris Pro 580 should perform somewhere between the discrete GPU in the Microsoft Surface Book (a GeForce 940M equivalent) and a GeForce 945M.
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